Information, resources, insights, & tips to help you gain MOWmentum.

From lawn care to mower care: Winterizing your mower

Posted on:Nov 23, 2021

After months of elite mowing, it comes time to settle your machine in for the winter. Even if you use a Grasshopper Mower for snow plowing and sweeping, these creature comforts for your mower keep it running at peak performance all year long.

Pro Storage

Storage ShedYour zero-turn mower is an investment you don’t want left unsecured or exposed to the elements. There are about as many storage options out there as there are mowers—with almost as much to consider. But whether budget, size, or material is your main concern, there is an array of great choices available.

For a large ride-on mower, we recommend a durable Tuff Shed® to keep it protected. They’re known for building custom garages, sheds, and other commercial structures, so they’re the pros at storing equipment safely. Plus, with multiple size and style options, there’s a fit for just about any yard.

For medium-sized mowers, the space-saving Rubbermaid® outdoor storage shed comes in various size options. Ideal also for price-conscious buyers, these units will protect your mower and your budget. 

Stabilize Fuel

FuelIf the fuel in your mower’s tank has been sitting for more than two weeks, it needs a fuel stabilizer, like STA-BIL®, added to it before you can mow again. Fuel that’s gone bad can goop up and block fuel lines, including the pinprick-sized hole in the carburetor jet. Luckily, adding stabilizer is incredibly simple—just be sure to check your owner’s manual to follow the instructions safely. Different grades of fuel are used for warm and cold weather operation. If you intend to use your machine for winter activities like snow removal, be certain to use a good quality, fresh winter-grade fuel, as summer-grade fuel creates a hard starting situation in cold weather.

Change Oil and Filters

If you’re a mowing pro, you already know the importance of oil changes at the end of the season. You don’t technically have to do it before winter storage, but it’s a good time to take care of your mower maintenance before it potentially sits for a few months. If using your machine in winter, it is critical that the correct oil for cold weather operation is used in all engines. The use of 30W oil in winter, for example, will often cause starting problems. Follow the engine manufacturer’s oil recommendation for cold weather operation.

Change OilBe sure to buy the right type of oil as listed in your engine manual and follow the instructions to correctly change it. This is usually a good time to check your air filter and replace it, too, if necessary. 

A good rule of thumb is to replace the air filter either every year before winter storage or every spring before cutting commences. Refer to your owner’s manual for specific instructions on the proper care and replacement of the filter.

Leaves, dirt, and lawn debris get stuck in the filter, which protects the mower’s engine. Clogged filters allow airborne particles to get in your engine, potentially doing costly damage. New filters are inexpensive and can be easily swapped out before your mower goes into hibernation.

While this isn’t an exhaustive list of mower maintenance, these are the key factors that affect the longevity of your machine. Cross these tasks off your to-do list and your mower will stay fit through more summers.


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